I grew up in a non-traditional home; my mom and dad both worked. Today, that scenario would never be considered non-traditional, but as a little girl surrounded by friends who had stay-at-home moms, it certainly was not the norm. My mom didn’t just have a regular 9 to 5 office job either; she was a doctor. This meant long hours in the office, additional time spent making hospital rounds, and even more hours at home putting notes in patient’s files.
I remember going to my friend’s house one day after school. Her mom was home baking cookies. I thought that was so amazing. I never saw my mom when I came home from school. Instead, my sister and I would make our own snack. We would turn on the television and do our own thing. We washed the dishes we used for our afternoon snack and cleaned up any mess we made.
You may think it sounds like my mom was not always present and very consumed with work. You’re not wrong. She was NOT always physically present and her job WAS important, but she also cooked all of our meals and she sewed our Halloween costumes. Back in grade school, I told her that I wished I could get a special lunch like the other kids. Once a week, my classmates would get McDonald’s or some other fast food item for lunch and wouldn’t have to eat their packed lunch. The next day, I got pulled out of class to the school office because my mom dropped off some Taco Bell for me. When you’re 8 years old, that was a meal fit for a princess. I did not understand that my mom was late to the office that day so I could get my special meal. All I knew was that my mom made things happen.
My mom was the first GenderAvenger in my life. She was my first superhero. What’s really funny is that growing up, I didn’t know about gender inequality. My mom was doing everything my dad was doing and maybe even more. She took care of my sister and I, cooked, cleaned, worked, sewed, played the piano and organ, she was into real estate, and played the stock market. In my eyes, it didn’t seem like there were any barriers to being a woman. My mom taught me so many important things; it would take many pages to tell you all of them. Here are two really important ones:
Anything Boys Can Do, I Can Do Too…and Maybe Do It Better
Did I mention that my dad is also a doctor? My mom didn’t sit home and shop all day, she became a doctor too. She also appeared in the book,”Who’s Who of American Women,” served as a U.S. Coast Guard, and was the acting general of the U.S. Public Health Service. This didn’t just teach me that I could be anything I wanted to be in this world. This taught me that I could be EVERYTHING I wanted to be in this world.
I Was Put In This World To Add Value
While other moms were telling their kids to smile and spread sunshine wherever they went, my mom told me to ensure I added value in whatever I do. This meant that I should always do my best. This meant that I should always give my opinion and share my ideas regardless of who was sitting at the table with me. When my mom served as the acting general, she told me that she often felt intimidated when leading the hospital meetings with a predominantly male group of doctors. She reminded me of the importance of finding my voice regardless of my audience.
As an adult, I now know there is gender inequality. My mom is the reason why it is so important to me that I help to ensure that women are always part of the dialogue. I never want to lose sight of the value we as women have in making a difference. It is important to me that all women have the equal opportunity to be heard. I am a second generation GenderAvenger and proud.
I am happy I discovered the GenderAvenger Tally App. It gave me the opportunity to look at where gender inequality was happening in my world and post about this on my Facebook and Twitter accounts. I think it is so easy to overlook that this is even happening at all and when I actually did use the app to take my tallies, there was a disparity in gender representation everywhere. I love the app by the way. It is so easy to use. You can count Who’s Talking and Who’s Present in almost every scenario you are in. It can be done while watching television or sitting in a meeting at work.
I want all women to be the Fearless Girl. She is the little statue in New York who stands as a powerful symbol of the need for change and encourage workplace diversity. I want to ensure that in my lifetime, both men and women have equal opportunities to sit on a panel as industry experts, serve in government, and run companies. I want to ensure that gender is never an issue and because of this, I will always be a GenderAvenger. It’s in my blood.
This is an ad sponsored by GenderAvenger but all opinions are definitely mine! #ad #GenderAvenger #GATally #IAmAGenderAvenger